North Carolina Expert Witness Rule Changes

fg_000015020806The General Assembly of North Carolina Bill 376, “An act amending the rules of civil procedure to modernize discovery of expert witnesses and clarifying expert witness costs in civil actions” was chaptered on 7/17/15. The act affects cases filed on or after Oct. 1, 2015 with changes as to how parties in litigation will handle expert witness disclosure and discovery. HB 376 adds more detailed requirements regarding discovery of information related to expert witnesses.

G.S. 1A‑1, Rule 26(b)(4) reads as rewritten:

  1. In general. – In order to provide openness and avoid unfair tactical advantage in the presentation of a case at trial, a party must disclose to the other parties in accordance with this subdivision the identity of any witness it may use at trial to present evidence under Rule 702, Rule 703, or Rule 705 of the North Carolina Rules of Evidence.
  2. Witnesses providing a written report. – The parties shall have the option, in connection with the disclosures required by this subdivision, of accompanying the disclosure with a written report prepared and signed by the witness if the witness is one retained or specifically employed to provide expert testimony in the case or one whose duties as the party’s employee regularly involve giving expert testimony. If the parties agree to accompany their disclosure pursuant to this subdivision with a written report, the report must contain all of the following:
  3. A complete statement of all opinions the witness will express and the basis and reasons for them.
  4. The facts or data considered by the witness in forming them.

III.       Any exhibits that will be used to summarize or support them.

  1. The witness’ qualifications, including a list of all publications authored in the previous 10 years.
  2. A list of all other cases in which, during the previous four years, the witness testified as an expert at trial or by deposition.
  3. A statement of the compensation to be paid for the study and testimony in the case.

The entire text of HB 376 may be found at

About Karen Olson

Information Professional with twenty years experience in legal, public record, and business research. Fifteen years law firm experience.

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